Which UX design career might be right for you?

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There are many different roles in the UX field. Here's a guide.
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Which UX Design Career Might Be Right for You?

If you’ve ever done a quick job search for “user experience design,” chances are you’ve seen some titles and descriptions that aren’t always as simple as “UX designer,” like “UX researcher” or “product designer.” Here’s a guide to help you explore these roles and find the right match for your interests and skill set.

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UX Designer

The most straightforward UX job can cover anything from user research to visual design. Responsibilities vary, but you should have experience in the design process from research through wireframing. Knowledge of visual design or front-end coding helps too.

  • Key skills: research methodologies, wireframing, ideation, prototyping

UX Researcher

UX researchers are responsible for understanding consumer needs, behaviors, and motivations. By empathizing with the user, a researcher can inform design decisions and advocate for them. This role typically works closely with business analysts, data analysts, and marketing teams to help determine product goals.

  • Key skills: user interviews, survey design, data analysis, usability testing

Information Architect

Information architects determine how information should be arranged and displayed to make a product easy to understand and use. They help users interpret their surroundings, navigate a product, and easily discover what it is that they’re looking to find or do.

  • Key skills: card-sorting, cognitive psychology, library science, user research analysis

Interaction Designer

Interaction design is all about how a product feels and responds to a user and is typically focused on precise user interface details. These details can include anything from designing movement, to animation, to visual aesthetics.

User Interface Designer

User interface (UI) design occupies its own distinct niche within the UX discipline. UI designers are most concerned with the look and feel of a product or website layout. They ultimately choose where buttons should be placed, what colors are used, and what style the drop-down menu will display. Many companies combine UI and UX design responsibilities into one role.

  • Key skills: visual design, UI patterns, typography, layout best practices

Product Designer

Product designer is an extremely popular title, and also one of the most ambiguous that tends to be used as a catch-all term that varies from company to company. Generally, the role of product designer includes many aspects of the roles defined above, and is often most closely related to the duties of a UX designer.

  • Key skills: content strategy, sketching, scope defining

Front-End Web Developer

Front-end web development is very closely tied to user experience because it embodies the physical programming of the designed interface. While this is a separate job, it's not uncommon for UX designers to be asked to code, or front-end developers asked to possess basic UX skills.

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